tv Doc Film Deutsche Welle February 14, 2020 10:15am-11:01am CET
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dresden for centuries a world renowned center of art and culture destroyed in a single line it was on february the 13th 1945 just 3 months before the end of world war 2 and while every year groups continue to commemorate the event facts surrounding those dark days a still being debated just how many lives were lost that night was it several thousands or hundreds of thousands to the anglo american allies consider the city a strategically significant target if not what was the purpose of carrying out such a devastating attack. the city's old town dressed in council this spring a palace the found. the church of our lady of potential treasures that were reduced
to rubble in a matter of balance. this american news reel described one of the 2 british raids on tristen. big 100 lancaster's march the 22 people in 3 bombs on transportation lands in germany stop obviously. but the german side reported things differently saying that the attack targeted a cultural center that had no military value. the plotters abolished it was built with diabolical intent our enemies annihilated this flourishing city dressed in his dead it's beautiful rock landmarks the law by residents and visitors alike has been destroyed. a kind of i might have i knew go. and several of the british air attacks on germany during the war were carried out
exactly as the plan as had intended but was one was one and also dresden height but such tactical perfection was the exception rather than the rule lynched the bombing of dresden was considered a must a piece of military planning jeff ekta. to isn't just wrong. the shock. these are among the very few photographs taken on the night of the attack a silhouette of the tracks addressed ins main railway station in the background blurred by the heat of flames. the pictures were taken by 15 year old hans joachim dietz son who lived near the station at the time. you know plots the train station was on veena plots. across the way on the corner there was an enormous building that housed rather ironically the offices of
the local fire insurance company. that was my neighborhood and hog with its fancy shops and leisure establishments. in which the wind. and just a few doors down. headquarters which could be considered a legitimate target was also in this district it was from here that the deportation of jews was organized large quantities of military supplies will also sent to the front from the railway station refugees who were fleeing the soviet offensive to the east pass through the station as well. as what happened. this is through the plain scored direct hits on some of the buildings behind the train station. but those who were trapped for several hours in the basement in one of those buildings surrounded by dead bodies. feeling.
more than $600.00 people were killed only the tried station alive and suffocated. vanished the central issue was not the casualties it was the damage to the water mains the gas lines the electrical system and the streets that required amount of personnel and material to repair. and that weaken the military effort. from a tactical standpoint it's much more effective to destroy a city's infrastructure than it is to wipe out of the barracks for example. of those they could get up and running again in 36 hours but one entire city is torch to takes time for the survivors to find shelter. so why did the americans and the british launch such a huge air right on dresden what were the specific intended targets. this is the historic noirmont district which includes the famous found commission.
get how cinnamon was 14 when the church and his home nearby were destroyed in the attack. as children cinnamon and some of his friends had carved their initials into the sandstone edifice of the arctic cademy across the square this is jewish it's hard to see now that's me jeezy but some of the letters have faded when this is that's well contest and off good totn was here. that one of them lived in a house that was hit by a bomb and then another lived in the ones. neither survived. yes and you know i was compelled. to hunt cinnamon and his family lived in a building behind this hotel within view of the fountain show. little
hint of that in the 3rd back courtyard there was one corridor and then another the toilets were outside we had to walk a long way to get water. so there was always a bucket of water in the apartment. or it will and there was a space above the hallway where the coal for heating was stored just imagine how well that coal burned in the fire after the bombing according to. this is how the neumark district looked before the attack. behind splendid the rock facades working class families lived in modest quarters. there were no military or industrial targets here but noirmont was flattened anyway. as 1st as for my looks like only 3 children in my class at school survived the rest were killed. for us there's no such thing as a class reunion in
a pile. of model. for decades much of the area lay in ruins but more recently a lot of new construction projects are filling in empty spaces but before these projects are realized archeologists explore the cellars and foundations of the original buildings. susanna shona is leading an excavation near the frown tricia in these ruins she often finds relics of life interest and before the bombing 'd. we found a sewing machine and a sign saying this facility was authorized to make uniforms for all nazi party organizations so this was likely a tailor's workshop much like a game it's an art school and that's what i wanted to hear some shoulder boards from a uniform that was probably made here. water. the
artifacts include bottles and other glass objects that would have formed in the high heat generated by the fires on the night of the attacks. glass starts to change a shade at around $600.00 degrees centigrade. sandstone was often used in the construction of these buildings and it too shows traces of the intense heat. build a common options in here you can say some of the beautiful original sandstone with that warm yellow color. and you but in high heat it starts turning orange and red doesn't. it or dish or this type of ice and this sandstone was likely exposed to temperatures up to 1000 degrees. it's very red and some of it has broken away that's. thousands of people took rift. enticements only to die there.
the 1st big allied attack on leipsic a nearby industrial sites took place in december $943.00 only after that did the authorities in dresden start taking civil defense missions. because there were no materials available to build bomb shelters on that scale everything was reserved for the war effort civil defense wasn't a top priority as we can read in official documents from that time. some measures were taken but it was haphazard due to having to deal with the various responsible party and state bureaucracies and put it sorry for all the other. a campaign of saturation bombing against german cities had been approved by the british government in 1942 the attacks were carried out by the royal air force bomber command headed by air marshal arthur harris. that
a lot of people. that never been tried yet. so. a cynic might say it wasn't about trying to destroy the weapons factories which were very hard to hit but about killing the people who worked in those factories and destroying a city's infrastructure. which in turn would reduce its importance to the military . and in that regard the plan proved successful. often course and. in early february the leaders of britain the soviet union and the us met at yalta to discuss their war strategy. prime minister churchill agreed to support the sobeys fans into germany by stepping up air rights in cities the idea was to disrupt germany's economy even further and to try to break the morale of the
civilian population. churchill inherit a squad together at the weekend and watch films of the bombing where it was and these attacks turned german cities into a smoldering funeral pyres. at that point bombs were being dropped on german cities almost daily dresden was considered a legitimate target but there were also specific technical reasons for the attack on the night of february the 13th. the weather forecasts call for cloudy skies at the much of eastern germany but some clearing was predicted around leipsic interest and ideal conditions for a successful air strike. churchill not only wanted to make good on his promise to increase the number of bombing runs he also wanted to demonstrate to stalin the destructive power of the royal air force bomber command.
for the letter was finished. clear that the real victor in europe was going to be stalin he had enormous military resources at that time did the put in syria and the fog didn't get but britain and the united states wanted to prove their own might only they had the power and ability to reduce cities to dust. evils this amounted to a struggle for post-war political power and it is in my opinion the reason behind the attacks on dressed in and later hiroshima. the people of dresden were completely unaware of these strategic political considerations when the 1st air raid sirens went off at $915.00 that night most thought that the attack would target an industrial center nearby as it happened so often in recent months.
she hung in there if president had so far been fairly untouched by the war from officials there were major bombing raids on leipsic but that didn't really raise fears among the people here neither there were rumors circulating that churchill had an aunt living and dressed so it would never be attacked under your and your boat nearby spicey oh oh it will win for a. while for me though of it in early january or so the woman who owned our apartment house had a new staircase put in and that's something that maoists formation lassen the old sandstone and steps were torn out and replaced with tara. and a few weeks later it was destroyed. it. kristoffer adam was 14 years old in february 945 in his family lived in the
district of your hunch that need to europe plants far from the city center in the main train station the square was a popular meeting place for locals february the 13th was a choose day and the day before one ashwin stay the highlight of the carnival season in germany lots of children dressed up in questions just like every year nor along was one of them. from dual flights i remember celebrating with my friends from the area. is being us holland and i dressed up as a dutch girl because what if you had my mother and grandmother made the costume for me complete with a blue and white dress a starched white apron and the traditional hat. romford field we hung paper streamers in lanterns from the 4th floor window and i joked at the time that i wasn't going to take them down the next day i was just going to set a match to them that would be quicker that will push my 1st line of this pond or sidecar. nor along and her friend anita yon were both 12 years old like
christophe adam they and their families lived in your hand. when they need to yawn heard the 1st air raid sirens she knew exactly what to do. she grabbed a suitcase and went down into the basement with her parents. by own snitched the air raid shelter wasn't really a room more like a corridor but even that was not finished with cement it was constructed out of cobble stones these were old houses. so each was required to have a container of sand and buckets for sand and water down there the whole. it son i am so rich in these restored in old disused bathtubs or other containers. burden is a myth was. here and is exposed cellars in front of the front you can see some of the city's rudimentary civil defense measures. as
often as muslim whenever possible the basements here interest and were connected to each other by a network of makeshift passageways that crossed over property lines. and spaces. that way if people found themselves trapped underground and couldn't get out they could escape by going through another building on the streets or so wouldn't be going. in. just before 10 o'clock on the night of february the 13th the civil air defense office reported that enemy aircraft to be spotted of the town of pan am a few kilometers southeast of dresden american bombers had struck the city's railway yards in october 1944 in january $945.00 but those raids were comparatively small now the aircraft was targeting the city center the 1st british aircraft dropped magnesium parachute flares referred to as christmas trees by the germans to
eliminate the target area your. view of the sky became as bright as day as the planes drop those christmas trees in the law if. there were cascades of light off. there not him. it was an amazing sight to see. what city or influence was your but that was the 1st time that any of us had seen a bombing raid of such magnitude if you thought if you thought. these reconnaissance photos of dresden were taken by the r.a.f. in may 944. the target area clearly included the neuer markt district and surrounding streets in this war neither side seems that interested in cultural landmarks or monuments when it came to planning bombing raids. the aerial warfare began with the german daytime attack on london in september 19th
40 below fluff assume switch to night braids and targeted numerous other cities during this phase of the german air campaign which lasted until may 941 an estimated 43000 civilians were killed and more than 1000000 buildings destroyed. on nov 14th $940.00 the germans launched a devastating attack on the industrial city of coventry about a 3rd of the local factories were destroyed but residential areas were also cheat more than $500.00 civilians were killed in this attack. coventry's cathedral was reduced to rubble. in june 944 germany started firing missiles into the in the v. 2 at targets in britain. then if of a 2 missile struck a residential street $200.00 people would be killed instantly as in childhood
mentioned after stroke took. the last of the 2 to hit britain landed on kent in late march 9455 weeks after the annihilation of tristen. the very man. to. even though it was clear the law was coming to an end it was difficult for the british government to make a case for stopping the bombing of germany out of concern for civilian casualties when v. 2 rockets were still hitting london. forts again. to the people of britain the men who flew for the royal air force bomber command we hear a casualty rates were high 57000 crewmen were killed during the war. the total of the entire force. in the closing
months of the conflict german defense systems no longer posed a serious threat as a craft fuel was in short supply and the anti aircraft guns to be moved east to counter the soviet offensive dresden stood alone against the british bombers. the raid that went horribly right. just got out us and sent the bomber crews had a clear view of the target area. there were no anti aircraft guns. the city was completely exposed and couldn't defend itself against this attack. so fred tried to get dressed and with 3 large train stations. in center and there were several large military barracks in the district all of these were targets but none was seriously damaged during the raid. you
do via groups the planners had a specific strategy in mind and that was to disrupt the infrastructure and cause panic in the city center. and in that way that character of the attack on dresden was somewhat unique. and. similar tactics had been used by bomber command in a joint u.s. and british attack on hamburg that began on july the 24th 943 and continued for several days the devastation spread out over an area of more than 30 square kilometers during the course of the riots an estimated 250000 buildings were destroyed and a total of more than $42000.00 people killed at the time it was the most destructive attack in the history of aerial warfare. on the night of july 27 blazes started by
a massive bombing raid on hamburg combined with hot dry weather conditions to create a tornado of flames known as a firestorm bomb a command used similar techniques in attacks on darmstadt castle branch 5 and starting on february the 13th 1945 tristen. monarch experimented u.s. military build replicas of german apartment houses in the utah desert and calculated the amount of things like books clothes toys found in a typical german home to determine the optimal lecture of explosives and combustible. goodenough experiment fires in a german city were burned different where you could notion a japanese city where many of the buildings were in a grove warden paper and guns are not r.c. daughter. artifacts recovered interest in the decades after the attack a stored in the sun archaeological archives.
thousands of objects that bears silent witness to the devastation of the attack. there are glass bottles warped by the extreme heat plus coins books i glasses and various documents. even toy tanks and other military toys evidence of the nazi regime's effort to promote the popularity of the german military among children. who started adam was often given items like these for christmas. we had a choice. we either started from 0 to push or as a country with for example we had toy artillery pieces that used contact fuselage. you would load the cannon fire and a stream of flame came out before all of us were in the us or the shell hit a target or it made a loud noise if you will assure i also have
a toy soldiers and of course alone hitler figurine with attachable here i had a lot of fun shooting hitler's head off more culpable tradition. several weeks before the attack on trust and hitler had moved into a heavily fortified bunker beneath the chancery in central belgrade the residence of dresden on the other hand could only seek shelter in their basements nor along the course of the sound of the 1st bombs falling. does of all of a sudden there was this incredible roar. you can't even imagine the record. shop the dock i said to myself this is the end of the war and now the tanks will come and roll over us i was just a child i thought it was the end of the world or. us could die hards
and i thought will no one help us. if instead we haven't done anything wrong. this cash register was found in the ruins of his shop the tristen castle. the coins are hardly recognizable. the 1st attack began a 10 13 pm over the next 15 minutes british aircraft dropped a total of $881.00 tons of high explosive bombs and in centuries. the fires broke out everywhere as bombs lodged roofs and as takes furniture balconies household objects everything was in flames in an area of about 2 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide. a 2nd wave of bombers of arrived about 3
hours later the flame started by the 1st attack were visible up to 100 kilometers away the clouds of smoke rose more than 4000 meters into the night sky. both the hotel near the church and the zimmerman family's apartment survived the 1st rites nearly unscathed as the climate died down get hot cinnamon decided to leave the cellar. i had not i was i was the only boy living in a building what i was 14 years old at the time i covered all the windows with cardboard up into the north with the french for evil then i wanted to go to the train station to help. i was in the hitler youth. we all were linked to fortunately my big sister came after me and took me back. north and then the 2nd wave started if my sister hadn't done that i'd have been at the train
station when it was wiped out in the 2nd attack but of for lucia to. nia vina plats 15 year old hans joachim dietz and his family had already moved down to the basement to seek out the 1st attack. dates or brought a camera with him he still had it when later he stepped out onto the street and was overwhelmed by the sight of the city engulfed in flames he captured the moment on film. should i inform those i just wanted to take a picture of our apartment go to so i press the shutter release us to view that that was the 1st picture and then others followed it. maybe i was just in shock at suddenly being confronted with the horror of what war was really like. it all in this creative. this is a function of the building at kristen's technical university dietz's spent 2 hours
taking pictures from 11 pm until 1 am on the 2nd attack began air raid wardens moved around the area with portable sirens and told people to get off the streets. build and use a slice of the sirens made a soft whining sound we thought they can't be bombing us together. fires were like a tornado and that's when we heard the rumbling noise of the planes again troika. more than 500 lancaster aircraft now approach central tristen from the west over a period of just 24 minutes they dropped more than 1800 tons of bombs. and on about rushed the 2nd raid caught the people in the cellars completely by surprise it was too old and complicated the destruction of dresden was now complete
the firestorm continued to spread there was no way to stop it the fires were raging in so many parts of the city where you can flush in her fish not unplug because of its water. this footage was shot by a british aircraft entire sections of the city were in flames. the fires tore through older densely built up housing blocks finding a way out was next to impossible. the us is. these are cut those people had one option and that was to find some way to escape this living hell. a huge notifier had fallen on the city and there was hardly any way for people to get out of it and always go. and it's homes you must but suppose you were sick and had asthma or young children with you
but designs or if you were elderly or disabled. your chances of survival were pretty slim. it. would very unfairly it ready. these again hot simmons family records. show that he was baptized in the found. now both the church and his parents' home finally. there were flames everywhere. and there was so much smoke in the cellar that we could hardly breathe what could cause a lot meant when there was a barrel of water. that had been sitting there since 1939 so you can imagine what the water was like for us as well the 0 dollars lets them get but we went our handkerchiefs held them to our mouths and ran out while bombs were still dropping.
it would feel. like your hunch that district where i need to go on nor a line and christoph bottom left was a residential area far from the city center. these pictures show the aftermath of the firestorm there few buildings in your hunch that were left on skates by the 2nd attack. minimal to hide my father and mother thought they could save us my father picked me up and i felt i had the midst of all but the fire storm was just too big too powerful my fault as of and if it hadn't been for him i wouldn't be here today and a little. like key ordered us to get back get back into the basement. that was our attempt to escape but it didn't work. school there was so much wind and fire sparks were flying everywhere i remember that very well and we couldn't
get away up to. the intensity of such a breaking fire can be seen in this footage of the humble fire storm it sucks up all the oxygen making it hard for people to bring a knee to your own describes how her father tried desperately to save his family. i remembered fairy well i was right in front of my parents. and i fell down and i just said i'm going to lie here. just let's give in the last i heard of my parents is when my father said to my mother anita wants to stay here. my mother replied then we will too and that was that. i need to go on lost consciousness to sever lawas she survived poisoning or. thanks to a bomb threat she put her head. sichem in the shelters flames and smoke moved through the labyrinth of rooms at incredible speed
survivors of the attack tell heartbreaking stories about some of the things i saw. for us from. a young woman and her child were pulled out of the cellar just before us. someone was shouting don't go to the right that's where the fire is. and. the entire hall of the main train station was on fire the buildings are in framework was glowing red. i will those fire storm was moving in that direction to the right of us for a walk through and i saw how that woman and her child did not crawl to the left like we did. they ran to the right wings and suddenly the woman and her child were lifted off the ground like angels. and they just floated away from us all we saw was the glow of the flames and they were gone and victoire. on the
morning of february the 14th the city center was blanketed in heavy smoke the van marked barracks had survived the 2 air raids and 2000 soldiers from the facility was sent to help in the rescue and recovery efforts it was dangerous work buildings weakened by fire could collapse at any time and unexploded bombs posed a serious threat. and then the residents of tristen once again heard the roar of aircraft engines shortly after noon more than 300 american b. 17 flying fortress a small watched a 3rd attack. the official target was the rally yards in the free to district in the western part of the city. over the next 30 minutes to be 17 strops more than $700.00 tons of bombs including in sentries but
they did not hit the main target. like. there were 3 major bombing attacks in less than 24 hours finding him the people of dresden had no experience with anything like it so they had no idea how to deal with the situation. as scripts. there's a limit to how much psychological stress people can handle. and i think that by the afternoon of february the 14th most of the people of dresden were beyond the limit . and traditionally bushwick bill. now the main task for the civil defense authorities was to dispose of the dead. prisoners of war and force laborers were brought in to carry out this gruesome task
. the corpses were brought out of the rubble and laid out in rows in the streets to be registered 12 year old anita yon who had managed to pull herself out of the rubble now had to identify the bodies of her parents. and while my parents were lying there as though they were asleep they weren't disfigured at all. you saw in. the hall of on if their hair was a little messy and so with their clothes on churn of the yvonne but i was able to identify them and that gave me some comfort. and she seemed in principle schtick they basically suffocated when a man handed me their wedding rings that was the worst experience of my life. because in that moment i knew i was all alone. crews worked quickly to dispose of the corpses not least because of the fear the disease could spread to
the city. in early march troops huge metal grates in the out mark district up to $500.00 bodies at a time were piled onto the structures doused with petrol and burned. by mid march a total of 18375 victims had been recovered dressed in police chief reported to officials in berlin that the death toll could rise to 25000 but the propaganda ministry did not publicize these figures the government planned to use the bombing of dresden as part of a last ditch effort to fuel the moral indignation of the german people. nazi propaganda minister joseph goebbels encouraged the circulation of rumors that as many as 200000 people had lost their lives some foreign newspapers picked up and
also reported this wildly exaggerated claim. this was the beginning of the myth of tristen. kind of stuff but diabolical and criminal display of our enemies intend to destroy the city. early 1945 the propaganda ministry had almost nothing left in its arsenal to rally the german people so the ministry decided to spread fear and hope that this tactic would work until something miraculous could happen. but that was not to be germany surrendered in may 945 during the war as many as 500000 german civilians were killed in allied bombing attacks few of the countries may. cities was spared but the destruction of dresden continues to generate controversy to this day. there is
a trend many germans believe that there was no reason to attack the city the attack was on a warrant and they say that dressed in was a cultural center there was no involvement in s.s. war crimes no extermination of jews it had museums full of art by old masters like colorado for example. after the war the myth of dresden continued to be propagated on both sides of the iron curtain the false consciously figures were repeated again and again the east german government used the anniversary of the bombings to denounce it as a war crime committed by the west and now as i'm getting cracked it's of we mourn the victims and condemn those who carried out this senseless mass murder in those who must love this. country i may become a sort of british an american aircraft attacked an open city full of refugees and
wounded official reports say 45000 were killed but there were more many more 1000000. in 2004 the city of dresden commissioned a group of experts to carry out a systematic an objective study of the casualty figures. the panel released its report in 2010. based on comprehensive research that relied on official documents the experts concluded that the number of people who died in the attacks on tristen was between 18025000. by comparison so she 5000 civilians died in the allied air raids on hamburg in july 943. but dresden remains a powerful symbol of the destructive power of modern warfare. the hated kristen's of the city of dresden will always be unique in one regard as the events
that took place there in february 1905 have been used to spread propaganda in east germany east west germany elsewhere in europe and around the world and of it before in my heart for decades the ruins of the found caches stored as a reminder of the bombing attacks 'd. it was not until 994 that reconstruction work began in the church which was completed in 2005. few of those who survived the bombing ever thought they would see the church restored to its former glory 'd you had meant of kind of get off no one believed it would ever be rebuilt but people got organized i was made a toddler and after years of work there or. the thought the ministry of thought of them my daughter in law as mean what i thought of the reconstruction and i said it's beautiful. but then it always why certain of its audio files are.
ready ready ready to the point of strong opinions clear positions from international perspectives. germany is not known for disruptive politics but regional action has set off a political earthquake that is shaking the christian democratic party to get foundation to the a.f. . destroyed legacy find out on to the point. to the point the touch damaged nothing nice to meet ups on t w. they
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place. the bad. place. this is deja vu news live from berlin families torn apart by the war in syria. going to die in the planes up bombing us the army is very close as a syrian all sense if they can see it live province intensifies it did have its faults with a refugee in germany who can't get his family out of harm's way. the war in syria is also said to dominate talks at this year's munich security conference kicking off today another tough issue concerns over the shrinking influence of the west in shaping global sea.